Scammers do not discriminate, they are constantly looking for easy prey, and have no heartache scamming senior people out of their entire life savings. I crowdsourced this article from comments on a post I recently posted on LinkedIn.

Here is the link to the original post - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/gabrielfriedlander_informationsecurity-securityawareness-cybersecurity-activity-6622845272860962816-rPZv

I tried to keep it short and to the point to make it easy to share.

Let’s get started!

Whether or not you are able take care of your own finances has nothing to do with the likelihood of getting scammed. Even banks are getting hacked, so if you got scammed or something doesn’t feel right, report it immediately.

You can call the Better Business Bureau’s Senior Fraud Hotline: 804-780-2222

The mission of the Better Business Bureau’s Senior Fraud Program is to assist in recognizing and resisting fraudulent offerings and possible scams

Here’s a few simple rules to remember - better to be safe than sorry…

Rule #1 - If it is too good to be true, it probably is!

There are scammers that come to work everyday, sit in a cubicle and try to scam people! And they are very good at what they do. So if you think you stumbled across an amazing deal online, remember if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on the link, signup, purchase, or share personal information. Instead, manually type the address of the official websites and try to avoid purchasing from brands you don’t know.

Rule #2 - What? Who is this?

No matter what, if you get an unexpected phone call never give any personal information. Hang up the phone and do some research, and call the official phone number to inquire. 

Rule #3 - So, you are saying it is urgent…

There is no time-bomb ticking! If your bank is calling you, they won't pressure you to do anything. The same goes for any government agency, tech support, lottery, or even your grandchild… Whatever it is, it can wait until you do some research and verify the authenticity of the request.

Rule # 4 - Heck Yes, Free Gift Cards

Gift cards cannot be used to pay court fines, taxes, or medicine. Government entities ”never“ call people and demand payment; they tend to send a certified letter for those purposes.

 

Now let's review a few common scams you should be aware of…

 

Warning! Your computer is infected.

If any antivirus popup shows up urging you to call Microsoft, it’s a scam! Don’t click on any link or call any number, just close the browser.

Billy, is that you?

If your grandchild or any other family member calls and asks you to wire money immediately because they are in trouble, it’s probably a scam. Especially if they ask you to not tell mom and dad. You can verify if it is actually them by asking a personal question, like what’s your aunt’s name.

Look out for your new Medicare card!

No official organization will call you and ask for your Medicare/Medicaid ID or any personal information. Scammers may pose as medical insurers and threaten to cancel your insurance if you don't share information from the new card or request payment for the new Medicare.

The Miracle Cure!

Scammers may call and promise products for a long and fruitful life. This includes advanced cures, anti-cancer products, physical condition enhancements, etc., always consult with your physician and only purchase from official stores.

Congratulations! You are a winner!

The catch is, in order to receive your prize you will need to send money for taxes, shipping, or processing fees.

Knock knock! Who's there?

Don’t do business with anyone that just shows up at your door, and never pay in advance - always wait until all the work is complete.

Lastly

It’s important you talk to your parents… explain these type of scams are common, and if the call is unexpected then question it. Remind them that in this time and age, besides friends and family, the chances of someone calling with an urgent message is slim to none.

 

Gabriel Friedlander
Written by Gabriel Friedlander

I founded get-wizer.com in early 2019 with a mission to make basic security awareness training free for everyone. Since then Wizer has been rapidly growing with over 3000 organization who signed up for our free training. And in 2020 we partnered with several local counties to offer free Citizen Training. We believe that in this day an age, security awareness should be a basic human skill.